Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Old Fashioned Prayer Meeting

I went to a prayer meeting tonight. Yes, a Wednesday night church-wide old fashioned prayer meeting. They still do exist if you look hard enough. True I barely knew anyone there, maybe I knew 1 or 2 names, but the idea of a church in this present time, actually having a weekly prayer meeting I think is awesome.

I have no idea why so many churches have eliminated a church wide weekly prayer meeting. I certainly hope it is not due to the existence of so many church growth trends where the idea of such a meeting would give the perception of being too old fashioned and traditional that the unchurched would be a little put off by it. I do have my suspicions.

The thing is, I wasn't really up to it. I didn't really know anybody. I had no personal connection to any of the people on the prayer list. But I knew this was the right place to be. I knew that a church which holds a prayer meeting gets God's attention.

Well, just before the meeting started I was in the room where the youth hang out playing foosball, annihilating some kids when before long I noticed it was about 10 after 7. I was late for the meeting. I though to myself I better get in there, this is why I came here tonight. So, I finished the game and went in, sat in the back and attempted to prepare myself to approach the throne in prayer. The small gathering of believers were already in to their second hymn, acappelo style. After the leader spoke briefly about some of the answers to the previous week's prayers he asked for other requests and the group began to pray. I began to pray also, then my mind began to drift. I tried to listen as someone else prayed aloud but I just wasn't into it. I continued to pray anyway, whether I felt like it or not.

It wasn't much longer after that, that I realized I am approaching the throne of our holy God. That there is nothing impossible with God. And that he asks us to come to him with our requests in prayer, holding up others before him with physical sickness, praying for healing and God's provision. Prayer for the spiritual struggles and praying for those who are not saved. Wow, what an incredible privilege we have, what an opportunity to be allowed to come before the creator of all things with ours requests.

I started to feel the peace of the Holy Spirit and my prayers started to become more sincere and heart felt rather than just forced and uncaring.

I wasn't looking for any "experience". I wasn't using any "techniques to get to God" (i.e. contemplative prayer). I was just a screwed up guy who was stuck on himself, wanting to hit the road, looking at my watch, but instead I followed through with prayer struggling and wrestling with my own lack of desire until God snapped me out of my own little world and granted me access before his throne with requests and petitions for others. It blessed me. It completely changed my attitude.

When I got home I read this very brief commentary by A.W Tozer. It is exactly what I had experienced.

Here is an excerpt:

"If when we come to prayer our hearts feel dull and unspiritual, we should not try to argue ourselves out of it. Rather, we should admit it frankly and pray our way through."



Blogger carla said...

Thanks for being real.

12:27 PM  
Blogger Andy said...

In all of Jim Cymbala's books he emphasizes the power of prayer. His church started with less than 20 and is now one of the biggest in the US (Brooklyn Tabernacle), but he never places importance on attendance. Recently Ive been trying to pray for at least 30 minutes consecutive everyday and I can say that it has helped my attitude and perspective throughout the week. I hope I never forget the power of prayer and that other ppl realize it and push for such meetings in their church, if they dont already have it.

5:55 PM  
Blogger Bic said...

I want to start a prayer group at church and looked on the internet to find out how. This is the first blog I read. Thanks for the confirmation of God's leading

9:13 PM  

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